Esporão Monte Velho 2011 **

Alentejano, Portugal

Monte Velho

Price: $9.99
Grapes: Trincadeira (40%), Aragonez (40%), Castelão (20%)
Alcohol: 14%

From the Bottle:  “The wine shows integrated spicy ripe fruit and oak characters, with a balanced and well rounded palate, good body and a soft tannic structure.”

A says:
Rating: **
Color   Purple with rosy edges
Smell   Musty cough drops
Taste   This wine is dry, with a bit of  butterscotch that really could be great. Unfortunately, it’s also sour to a degree that is downright unpleasant. I had a hard time finishing my glass.  Definitely two stars.

D says: 
Rating: **
Smell   Grape
Taste   It’s acidic.  The sour flavor overpowers anything else.  It’s drinkable, but not very good.  I also give it two stars.  I wouldn’t go for seconds.

Verdict:  The monotone black label reminds us of the monotone acid flavor.  Even with a $10 price tag, this wine still isn’t worth it.  It wasn’t so bad we couldn’t drink it, but it was bad enough that we weren’t really interested in finishing it.  In fact, there’s some still left in the bottle, and it’s probably going down the sink.  That said, it did contribute to an absolutely delicious shepherd’s pie recipe – so it gets high marks for cooking.

Have you tried it? Rate it!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 2.00 out of 5)
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Laetitia Vineyard Select Pinot Noir 2011 ***

California, U.S.A.

Price: $24.99
Grapes: Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 14.1%

From the Bottle:  “To make a great Pinot Noir requires a special combination of both climatic and soil conditions; Laetitia’s Arroyo Grande vineyard has both.  Planted on cool coastal benchlands overlooking the Pacific Ocean, our vineyard has low-yielding rocky volcanic and limestone soils that produce incredible, concentrated fruit.  Planted with a wide selection of Pinot Noir clones and rootstocks, this estate grown fruit allows us to create wines of great depth and complexity.  The Vineyard Select was designed to showcase the quality of this very special place. – Eric Hickey, Winemaker”

A says:
Rating: ***
Color   Ruby with violet edges
Smell   Raspberries and vanilla
Taste   This is a very smooth, tasty wine.  The vanilla comes through in the flavor, as well as berry flavors.  The finish, though, is tart and slightly bitter.  This wine is pleasant to sip, but I’m not sure that I like the aftertaste.  It’s good but not amazing.

D says: 
Rating: ***
Smell  Fruity
Taste   This wine has a really nice, rich flavor.  It’s smooth and spicy, with an unexpected, citrus aftertaste.  Like A, I’m not sure how I feel about the finish; it is a little bit too acidic.  That said, I would definitely drink it again.

Verdict: Can you believe this is the first Pinot Noir we’ve gotten around to reviewing?  It was high time to remedy that oversight – so to celebrate D’s return home from a long business trip (and a belated Valentine’s Day), we decided to open a nice bottle that’s been waiting in the cellar.  We both enjoyed the Laetitia Pinot Noir, even though we both felt that the wine left us with a slightly less than wonderful aftertaste.  It might have made it to the realm of four stars if it were priced a little better, but at $24.99/bottle, it just isn’t quite worth it.  Was it a disappointment?  No.  But we’re not buying it again either.

Have you tried it? Rate it!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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